Security alert as IRA admits bombings

THE IRA in Dublin yesterday admitted carrying out the Manchester and London bomb attacks this week, as police and the security services remained on high alert for the campaign in the weeks before Christmas.

Security sources warned that the terrorists were likely to change tactics again. The overnight switch from using huge lorry bombs in London to smaller, indiscriminately placed Semtex bombs in Manchester was evidence of a new more flexible strategy. One senior source said: 'If we ask people to look for lorries carrying bombs, then we find that within a couple of days they are planting them in shop doorways or left in bins.'

The Government yesterday refused to give assurances that it would pay the insurance bill for terrorist attacks in Britain - as it does in Northern Ireland - despite pleas from the CBI. Insurers have insisted that they will not provide cover because the risks are too high.

The pre-Christmas period is traditionally a time of heightened activity and last year saw a series of incendiary bombs planted in shopping areas.

Early yesterday morning, a soldier on guard duty at an ammunition compound in Catterick army camp in North Yorkshire fired five shots at two or three men, believed to be armed, entering a restricted area.

Police and the Army said it was impossible to establish whether the intruders were IRA members or poachers, who are common in the area. A police spokesman said that if the intruders were poachers they should contact the police, who would treat them sympathetically.

The shooting led to an alert and precautions around the camp were tightened as police were called in to search the area.

A number of military bases have been attacked in the current campaign and a return to such targets would be a typical move. Catterick, which houses 20,000 troops who do regular tours in Northern Ireland, is a recognised target and soldiers are on a permanent state of alert.

In Manchester, the city centre was reopened after the injuries and destruction caused by Thursday's bombs. Apart from damaged buildings and small areas around the bomb sites, the public was able to return to shops and businesses. Only one of those injured was detained in hospital overnight.

The IRA statement issued in Dublin said: 'Active service units of the IRA carried out this week's military operations aimed at government and commercial targets in London's West End and Manchester.

'In both cases adequate and clear warnings were given. Until the British government recognises Ireland's right to national self- determination, attacks such as these will continue.'

Usdaw, the shopworkers' union, yesterday called upon the Government and employers to introduce better training and emergency procedures for spotting suspect packages and dealing with bomb alerts and evacuations.

Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, said that he would be having further discussions with insurers. The CBI warned that business could be 'devastated' unless the Government was prepared to take responsibility. Mike Jones, chief executive of the Association of British Insurers, said: 'It is not just a matter of premiums. We are saying that the insurance industry worldwide cannot and will not underwrite this risk.'

After 1 January, insurance cover on terrorist-related payouts for commercial policies will be cut to a ceiling of pounds 100,000.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project